How to make amazing rotissere / BBQ style chicken even if you’re working or just plain busy

This creates amazing melting-off-the-bone roast chicken with crispy skin and fantastic gravy. For best results (and practicality) it uses both a slow cooker and a oven. (The alternative is 5 hours in the oven but then you won’t get the amazing corn!).

Ingredients

  • Spice blend
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp white pepper + 1/4 tsp black pepper (or just fresh grind in tri-colour peppercorns)
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 chicken to roast
  • Vegetables to roast (i.e. potatoes, zucchini, carrot, whole peeled garlic, corn-on-the-cob).
  • Oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • Potato flakes or cornstarch (for the gravy)

Allergy friendly: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Tip: Whole peeled garlic is often sold in large bags; consider portioning it out into little bags and freezing it. You can pull it out of the freezer each time you have a roast.

Directions

  1. Mix the spice blend together.
  2. Peel the onion & top’n’tail it.
  3. Make sure the chicken is ready for cooking (i.e. giblets removed).
  4. Rinse the cavity and pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Rub the spice blend over the chicken inside and out.
  6. Put the onion inside the chicken cavity.
  7. Put the chicken into the slow cooker.
    • A note on timing: You can rub the chicken the night before, wrap it in a plastic bag, and marinade it overnight in the fridge so that all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the slow cooker. The choice on whether to put the cooker on Low or High depends on how long it will be in there and how long you want to have it in the oven. My chicken wasn’t 100% defrosted so I had it on High in the slow cooker for 5 hours and then in the oven for 1.5 hours.
  8. Prepare your vegetables to roast.
    • I chop the potatoes up and put them in the steamer in the microwave for about 10 minutes to give them a bit of a head start before placing them in the roasting pan.  You can brush the veggies lightly with oil before placing the chicken on top – they just need a touch to keep from drying out before the fat from the chicken starts to drip out.
  9. Carefully pull the chicken out of the slow cooker and put it in the roasting pan. Baste it with the juices from the slow cooker.
  10. Roast the chicken for 60-90 mins. Start the oven at 180-200’C; you’ll be able to drop the temperature to 150’C and cover the chicken in tin foil once it has browned. Keep basting the chicken periodically with juices from the slow cooker.
  11. Put the corn-on-the-cob in the slow cooker (in the chicken juices) as soon as you take the chicken out. Cook on High for 60-90 minutes.
    • The juices will only cover the bottom of the corn; this is fine. It comes out cooked, still with a good steamed firmness, sweet, and lightly flavoured by the chicken broth.
  12. Once the chicken, roast veggies, and corn are all cooked, you can use the juices in the slow cooker to make gravy. You can use flour or cornstarch, or try potato flakes.  It’s not just that these are gluten free, it’s that they thicken the gravy quickly and don’t go lumpy like cornflour sometimes does. Add potato flakes gradually (leaving the slow cooker on) and stirring; I made my gravy quite thick.

Leftover roast chicken can be used for the next night, sandwiches, to make chicken fried rice, or as a pizza topping on a flat or scone base.

Prawn Fried Rice

 

Ingredients

  • 2c cooked rice (refrigerated from previous day)
  • 1 1/2c frozen vegetables
  • 1 1/2c prawns
  • Dried ginger
  • Sliced green onion
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Fish sauce
  • Oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • optional: coriander, chilli, lime slices.

This is the kind of recipe that you may want to make on the spur of the moment because you have leftover rice, or it may be something that you prep the night before so that you can whip up lunch or dinner the next day quickly.

In terms of prep time, the rice needs to have been cooked and cooled long enough. This changes it to resistant starch which will help it to stir fry. My personal preference is basmati rice (both for taste and that it holds together well in a wok); I made this with long grain white rice and it worked well enough but some of the cooked grains for break apart.

My prawns were frozen so I had both those and the veggies covered on the bench for the afternoon to defrost. They were cool when they went in the wok but not frozen so this leads to a quick cooking time.

Tip: I find that sliced green onion freezes well. I portion it out in little bags and then pull it out as needed for stir fries and pizza.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, treenut free, gluten free. May not be suitable for people with fish or shellfish allergies.

Directions

  1. Cook your rice the day before. Personally, I like to use the rice cooker with water, salt, and rice bran oil.  As your rice cools give it a bit of a fluff (easier if you’ve used some oil in the cooking) and put it in the fridge to cool overnight.
  2. Prepare your vegetables. If you’re using frozen veggies then it’s a good idea to put them in the fridge at the same time as the rice so that it can defrost overnight. Alternatively, you might want to use something like grated carrot.
  3. Prepare your prawns. If frozen, make sure that they’ve defrosted slowly. Give them a rinse and pat dry.
  4. When you’re ready to cook, heat your wok nice and hot with some oil.
  5. Add the prawns and a pinch or two of ginger.
  6. Prawns aren’t as temperamental as squid but they don’t need a long cook time. About 5 minutes for prawns (and less if using shrimp instead).
  7. Add your vegetables.
  8. Add the rice. Keep moving it around to separate and coat the grains.
  9. Add a dash of fish sauce. Add sugar and salt to taste.
  10. Keep moving everything around so that it doesn’t stick; add more oil if needed.  Serve when hot through.
  11. Serve with condiments if desired (like chopped fresh coriander, fresh chillies, lime slices etc.).

Scone Pizza Base

I’ve posted previously with a recipe for making a thin pizza base; a scone pizza base makes a wonderful thick pizza base and brings back warm memories for me of my Poppa in his kitchen making this in the summer holidays. Pizza is also a great way of using up leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 3c standard plain flour
  • 6 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 75g butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2c milk
  • Optional: Add some chopped fresh basil and dry oregano to the flour.

Allergies: soy free, egg free, peanut free.

NOTE: Lots of pizza pastes have added sugar, additives and other things. I prefer tomato paste that’s 99.5% tomatoes + salt and nothing else. The latest pizza had tomato paste on 1/2 and basil pesto on the other 1/2. I added finely diced red onion, thinly sliced zucchini & mushrooms, diced roast pork, and grated cheese. I love adding finely sliced asparagus stalks (the bottom half) when they’re in season.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt into a bowl.
  3. Cut butter in until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add milk and mix quickly until it resembles a soft dough.
  5. Turn out onto floured bench and knead a few times. Roll out into a flat base. (You may want to move onto a lined or greased baking tray before adding the toppings).
  6. Apply your choice of pizza toppings.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Check. Cook for another 5-10 mins until golden.

Welsh Rarebit


This is such a wonderful comfort food. It’s tasty, quick and easy to make (even with a grumpy toddler), and a cheap meal to make if these are the kind of staples you have at home. You’re also likely to end up with leftover cheese sauce that you can use the next day (make mince & cheese pie, lasagne, nachos, or just serve with baked beans or broccoli!).

I also have to confess that I normally mispronounce this and tell my toddler that we’re eating Welsh Rabbit.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick bread (can use gluten free bread)
  • 250g strong cheddar cheese
    • (I have had this turn out fine with a mild colby so don’t stress if you don’t have something stronger).
  • 100ml milk
    • (apparently you can replace this with light ale but I haven’t tried)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1T plain flour (or superfine white rice flour)
  • 1T mustard
    • (I like Dijonnaise)
  • Paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Dried onion (optional)

Allergies: soy free, gluten free*, nut free.

Directions

  1. Lightly toast bread.
    • (If soft it will go soggy).
  2. In pot on a low heat, melt cheese + milk + butter.
  3. Turn heat to medium and stir in egg.
  4. Add flour and stir swiftly until fully mixed.
  5. Take off heat. Add mustard; dash in Worcestershire sauce (if desired); add a dash of paprika (or you can sprinkle on top once spread); mix in dried onion (if desired).
  6. Butter toast and lay on baking tray.
  7. Spoon cheese sauce onto toast. Sprinkle on paprika (if not already mixed in).
  8. Grill until cheese goes golden and starts to bubble.

 

Optional:  You can add ham, cooked bacon, anchovies, or warm baked beans to the bread before spreading the cheese sauce. Remember that everything needs to be warm and cooked before it goes under the grill!

Allergy: peanut free; soy free*.

Note: This can be made soy free as long as you’re careful to select soy free ingredients.

 

 

Egg Fried Rice without Soy Sauce


Ingredients

  • 2c cooked rice (refrigerated from previous day)
  • 1c frozen peas & corn (refrigerated from previous day)
  • 2 eggs
  • Sliced green onion
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Chicken stock powder
  • Oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • optional: fish sauce, chilli, lime slices.

Note: Instead of sugar and salt, you can use 1/2 – 1T of coconut amino acids to achieve a similar umami flavour to soy sauce.

You can play with ingredients, i.e. consider chopped ham or bacon, bbq pork, char siu pork, shrimps etc. You want everything to be cut small and to be pre-cooked; you are essentially heating everything through. It’s important that the rice needs to have been cooked earlier, cooled and been fluffed, and then completely chilled in the fridge (cooling for 12 hours changes the type of starches the rice contains).

This is the kind of recipe that you may want to make on the spur of the moment because you have leftover rice, or it may be something that you prep the night before so that you can whip up lunch or dinner the next day quickly.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free.

Directions

  1. Cook your rice the day before. Personally, I like to use basmati rice in the rice cooker with water, salt, and rice bran oil. Today I used 80% basmati and 20% black rice; this has the fun visual side-effect of dying the basmati a dark purple colour! As your rice cools give it a bit of a fluff (easier if you’ve used some oil in the cooking) and put it in the fridge to cool overnight.
  2. Prepare your vegetables. If you’re using frozen veggies (I used a mix of peas, corn, cubed carrots, and small cut beans) then it’s a good idea to put them in the fridge at the same time as the rice so that it can defrost overnight. Alternatively, you might want to use something like grated carrot.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, heat your wok nice and hot with some oil.
  4. Crack two eggs and scramble them. You can choose either to: (A) cook them as an omelette, take it out and cut into strips, and re-add once the rice is in, or (B) add the rice when the eggs are almost cooked and break the eggs into small pieces while moving the rice grains around.
  5. Add the rice. Keep moving it around to separate the grains and break the egg up.
  6. Add stock powder, sugar, and salt to taste. (You may also want to add a dash of fish sauce).
  7. Add your vegetables (and any pre-cooked meat).
  8. Keep moving everything around so that it doesn’t stick; add more oil if needed.  Serve when hot through.
  9. Serve with condiments if desired (like dried shallots, dried or fresh chillies, lime slices etc.)

 

Why not use soy?

You may not like the taste of soy, or may dislike the sodium content; for us, it’s because of a soy allergy. Salt and sugar (I prefer brown) can be found in a variety of soy free fried recipes as way of substituting for the salty flavour of the soy sauce and also providing a dash of sweetness.